The majority of people in prison and jail have a substance use disorder. Despite the promise demonstrated by some treatment programs for people who are incarcerated, just a fraction of the people who need services for substance abuse receive it. Connecting people incarcerated to treatment programs proven to be effective, prioritizing resources for those nearing release, and encouraging community-based aftercare will ensure better outcomes for people released from prisons and jails, and the communities to which they return.

Substance Abuse FAQs

Providing answers on relevant topics concerning Mental Health, Health and Substance Abuse topics.

Recent Posts

Stepping Up Initiative Expands Push for Counties to Collect Data on Number of People in Jails Who Have Mental Illnesses

Stepping Up Initiative Expands Push for Counties to Collect Data on Number of People in Jails Who Have Mental Illnesses

The Stepping Up initiative recently launched a national effort to help counties collect accurate, accessible data on the number of people entering their jails who have mental illnesses. As part of the effort, seven rural and urban “Innovator Counties” have been selected as models for their expertise in accurately identifying these individuals and consistently collecting data on them.

Baltimore County to Further Improve Crisis Response System Based on Independent Assessment

Baltimore County to Further Improve Crisis Response System Based on Independent Assessment

The Baltimore County, Maryland, county executive recently released a report that provides recommendations for the county to better position its police-mental health collaboration (PMHC), the Baltimore County Crisis Response System, to provide an effective and comprehensive response that is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and maximizes both public safety and health outcomes.

Congress Approves FY18 Funding Levels for Criminal Justice Programs

Congress Approves FY18 Funding Levels for Criminal Justice Programs

Recently, the U.S. Congress approved the $1.3 trillion Fiscal Year 2018 Omnibus Appropriations bill that would set government funding through Sep. 30, 2018. The bill provides $30.3 billion for the Department of Justice and includes $2.9 billion for various state and local law enforcement assistance grant programs.

Arkansas Opens First Crisis Stabilization Unit

Arkansas Opens First Crisis Stabilization Unit

Arkansas’s first crisis stabilization unit (CSU) opened in Sebastian County on March 1 with high praise from Governor Asa Hutchinson. This center, which will provide services to people experiencing mental health crises, is the first of four such centers planned across the state. Officials are hopeful that it will serve as a model that other states can follow.

Megan Quattlebaum Named Director of the CSG Justice Center

Megan Quattlebaum Named Director of the CSG Justice Center

The Council of State Governments (CSG) recently announced that Megan Quattlebaum, research scholar in law at Yale University Law School and lecturer in law at Columbia University Law School, will be the next director of The CSG Justice Center.

Second Chance Act Spotlight: Ronald Forbes

Second Chance Act Spotlight: Ronald Forbes

A 55-year-old U.S. Army veteran, Ronald Forbes is on the brink of expanding his Oakland, California-based catering company in partnership with his sister, Catherine. Soon, he’ll move the business to a commercial space, but for now he’s practicing his recipes for barbecue chicken, ribs, and his mom’s potato salad at home.

Announcements

Apply Now: Tribal Behavioral Health Grant Program

Apply Now: Tribal Behavioral Health Grant Program

The program provides funding to prevent and reduce suicidal behavior and substance use, reduce the impact of trauma, and promote mental health among American Indian/Alaska Native youth through the age of 24 years.

Apply Now: Early Childhood Mental Health Grant Program

Apply Now: Early Childhood Mental Health Grant Program

The program provides funding for agencies to help improve outcomes for young children by developing, maintaining, or enhancing infant and early childhood mental health promotion, intervention, and treatment services.

Coming Together for Action Conference

Coming Together for Action Conference

The Global Alliance for Behavioral Health and Social Justice is partnering with the Colorado School of Public Health to convene an interdisciplinary conference for behavioral health, social justice, and healthier communities, particularly in relation to more effectively meeting the needs of people in the juvenile and criminal justice systems who have mental illnesses and substance addictions.

Webinars

Addressing the Needs of Veterans in the Criminal Justice System

Addressing the Needs of Veterans in the Criminal Justice System

This webinar provides an overview of national estimates of incarcerated veterans; explains components of the Veterans Health Administration’s veterans justice programs; expands awareness of the needs of veterans in the justice system; and discusses new developments in the Veterans Administration and community interventions to provide services to veterans in the justice system.

Best Practices in Screening and Assessment for People with Co-Occurring Substance Use and Mental Health Disorders in the Criminal Justice System

Best Practices in Screening and Assessment for People with Co-Occurring Substance Use and Mental Health Disorders in the Criminal Justice System

This webinar features Roger Peters, PhD, a licensed clinical psychologist and professor in the Department of Mental Health Law and Policy at the Louis de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute, University of South Florida. The webinar discusses the prevalence of co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders among people involved in the criminal justice system, as well as effective screening and assessment instruments to use with this population.

Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program and Budget

Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program and Budget

In this webinar, staff from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance and The Council of State Governments Justice Center review information for Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program applicants and grantees on the grant management and budget process.

Building and Implementing Research Partnerships

Building and Implementing Research Partnerships

This webinar reviews effective methods for building and implementing a research partnership, with a particular emphasis on agencies that have recently established a new research partnership or are planning on starting a research partnership.

How Victim Advocacy Improves the Work of Reentry Staff

How Victim Advocacy Improves the Work of Reentry Staff

In this webinar, two victim services reentry professionals from corrections departments discuss victim service programming for agencies and organizations that work with people in the criminal justice system.

Publications

Modern Justice: Using Data to Reinvent America’s Crisis Response Systems

Modern Justice: Using Data to Reinvent America’s Crisis Response Systems

This publication from the Laura and John Arnold Foundation examines how public safety personnel, health professionals, and service providers can contribute to solving the problem of Frequent Utilizers—those who cycle in and out of jails, hospitals, shelters, and other social service programs at a startlingly high rate.

Addiction Policy Forum Hospital Toolkit

Addiction Policy Forum Hospital Toolkit

This toolkit from the Addiction Policy Forum was designed to empower patients, families, emergency medicine providers, and policymakers to work collaboratively to identify patients in need of help, initiate evidence-based treatments, and connect patients and families to comprehensive support services.

Returns on Investments in Recidivism-Reducing Programs

Returns on Investments in Recidivism-Reducing Programs

This policy brief from the White House’s Council of Economic Advisors discusses the economic costs of crime and the effectiveness of programs to reduce recidivism, focusing on programs delivered inside correctional facilities addressing three main areas: mental health, substance abuse, and education.

An Overview of Offender Reentry

An Overview of Offender Reentry

This publication provides an overview of reentry literature, reentry outcomes, and the initiatives that may work to improve public safety.

Baltimore County, Maryland: A Police-Mental Health Collaboration Assessment

Baltimore County, Maryland: A Police-Mental Health Collaboration Assessment

In September 2016, Baltimore County, Maryland’s county executive asked the CSG Justice Center to conduct an independent assessment of its law enforcement and behavioral health collaboration, the Baltimore County Crisis Response System, which helps the county respond to people who have behavioral health needs. This report describes the assessment’s methodology, highlights key findings, and discusses those recommendations and strategies.

Corrections-Based Responses to the Opioid Epidemic

Corrections-Based Responses to the Opioid Epidemic

This report from the Vera Institute of Justice examines New York State’s overdose education and naloxone distribution program and what lessons it can offer related to corrections-based responses to the opioid epidemic.

Recent headlines

Opinion: If Addiction Is a Disease, Why Is Relapsing a Crime?

Anti-medication-assisted therapy policies have a number of unconscionable effects. They mean that incarceration necessarily disrupts a promising treatment before it has time to work. They also force addicts who are in treatment but faced with incarceration to rapidly and dangerously taper off serious medications.

Opinion: ‘Stepping Up’ for Pacific County

One of the first grants that our Stepping Up team secured financed an intake survey that identifies people for whom jail time is not the best solution. Once an individual is identified with a mental health or other problem, one of our county’s network of service providers can be brought in to help.

Poughkeepsie Police and Social Workers Patrol Together

In a recent press release, Poughkeepsie’s police chief said that since more foot patrols like the Behavioral Evaluation and Assistance Team have been added, the department is receiving fewer calls for service, and departments in neighboring communities are seeking out grants to start similar programs.

We Really Do Have a Solution to the Opioid Epidemic — and One State Is Showing It Works

America hasn’t fully embraced the solutions that we know can work. According to a 2016 report by the surgeon general, only 10 percent of people in the US with a drug use disorder get specialty treatment, which the report attributed to a lack of access to care. Even when treatment is available, other federal data suggests that fewer than half of treatment facilities offer opioid addiction medications.

Butte County Is a State Leader on Breaking Imprisonment Cycle

Since the inception of the voluntary program three years ago, 83 have graduated and two have since returned to prison.
That is an incredible statistic compared with the most recent state data, which shows a recidivism rate at 46 percent.